Data


ou are entitled to support for your system which is what we would classify as troubleshooting.   This would only be for your admins. If you are referring to after-market services outside of your organization, then the answer is absolutely NO.   Your data is stored in a completely segregated system that is only accessed by users of that system with defined access levels. All data is confidential to your users and will not be shared.   It will be destroyed when you deem necessary.

Installation


Alcea is set to run on port 10000 by default. If you see a bindException message when you try to configure the system for the first time, it is likely that you already have something using this port on your system. You can try to determine what process is using the port by using the following command:

netstat -aon

If you choose to use a different port, you will have to choose one of the following methods to override it (assume port 10001), since Alcea uses 10000 by default.

  • Option 1If your installation directory has a Alcea.ini file, you can modify it to explicitly state the port that you want to use. Note however that you must also change AlceaService.ini if you ever want to run the application as a service with the same setting. Try changing :Virtual Machine Parameters=-Xms128M -Xmx512MtoVirtual Machine Parameters=-Xms128M -Xmx512M -DPORT=10001and restarting the application.
  • Option 2If your installation directory has a Fit.lax file you can modify it to explicitly state the port that you want to use. Try changing :lax.command.line.args=$CMD_LINE_ARGUMENTS$to:lax.command.line.args=-p 10001Then try restarting the server and it should let you configure your system like normal. You can now change the port setting to your desired setting in the configuration sequence.
  • Option 3You can run Alcea manually using the following command line:java -Xms128M -Xmx256M -cp fit.jar Fit -p 10001orjava -Xms128M -Xmx256M -cp fit.jar Fit -DPORT=10001On windows, type “cmd” in the “start->run” menu, to open up a command prompt.cd “c:Program FilesAlcea”Then type ‘jrebinjre.exe -classpath “fit.jar;jrelibrt.jar” Fit -p 10001’ to start manually.

If you are a user and you have lost/misplaced your password, you will need to get the administrator to reset it for you. If you have lost the admin pasword, you have two options:

  • Option 1If the server.cfg file is missing (ie: move to server.backup), the system starts up the configuration sequence again, allowing you to create another admin user. You must finish the config sequence and then copy the backup server.cfg before restarting, so you have your old settings.
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  • Option 2The users.cfg file contains passwords in the following format :login,PASSWORD||type (type only exists if not normal) The PASSWORD is usually encrypted, but the system will understand straight text also. Simply restart the system after changing this.You will want to change your password again using the system, so that it is then encrypted.

You want to Start running the server application. This will depend on the system that you’ve installed it on. It is also a good idea to read the readme that is installed with the application.

On a Windows system, you’ll likely choose “Start…”, “Programs…”, “Alcea”.

On a Unix system, you’ll execute Fit.sh.

Remember that Alcea is a Web Server, and that the only GUI interface is through a web browser.

Now you want to point your web browser at the appropriate location. When Alcea starts up, it displays some suggested url’s to try. It’s important to include “http://” at the start of the url, as Alcea runs on a non-standard port.

A couple of possibilities:

Alcea is not running. If you’re on a Windows system, it should appear on your toolbar. Unix users can use “ps -aef | grep Fit” to see if Alcea is running. If this is the case, start it up and attempt to reconnect.

You’re not going to the correct url. Check that you haven’t made a typo.

  • Check that you’ve got “http://” at the start of the url in the browser.
  • Check that you’ve got the correct port (defaults to 10000).
  • If you’re trying to connect from the same computer that is running Alcea, try “https://alceatech.com:10000/”.
  • If you’re trying to connect from a different computer, try using the IP address displayed by Alcea when it starts.
  • Check with a network administrator if you’re still having problems

There is a new DEP feature on some versions of Windows (ie Windows 2003 with Service Pack 2) that can stop our installer from installing directly, without permissions.

You have two options:

  • Option 1 (recommended)The best solution is to add our program to the list of allowed programs in the DEP settings using the following instructions:
    1. Download the FitInstall.exe to your machine. Say c:/FitInstall.exe
    2. Click Start, click Run, type “sysdm.cpl” and press OK
    3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, press Settings
    4. On the Data Execution Prevention tab, turn on “DEP for all programs and services except those I select” to use the opt out policy and add to add our program to this list of exceptions. Then add our program to the list. (ie: Add c:/FitInstall.exe)
    5. You should now be able to install Alcea as normal.

Configuration


Alcea allows you to add custom html and/or javascript code within the product, by editing custom strings. Each field name on the edit menu, will have a special name attribute which can be used to reference or modify the look of the field.

For example, if you wanted to change the background of the AssignedTo field to red, you could add the following code to the sHead or sFoot custom strings :

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE='Javascript'>  //get assigned to field  var assignTo = document.getElementById("mAssignedTo");  if (assignTo) { // check we are on ModifyBug page and field is visible  //get assigned to label  var labelTd = assignTo.parentNode.previousSibling;  //change bg color  labelTd.style.background = "red";  }  </SCRIPT>

Note: You may want to just use the sNewBugFooter and sModifyBugFooter, since this assignTo tag is only used there, but since we added the “if (assignTo)” check, it works out similar. Another option would be to check the menu that you are currently using like this :

 if ("<SUB page>"=="com.other.ModifyBug") // instead of "if (assignTo)"

Add the following code to the sFoot or sHead custom string. This will simply hide the search box from users on the page:

<script>  document.getElementsByName("searchString")[0].style.display = "none";  document.getElementsByName("quickSearch")[0].style.display = "none";  </script>

Licensing


Licenses are are currently priced according to how many users will be using the system.

A user is defined as any user that can log into the system. Generally, this means any user that can take ownership of an issue. This is also known as a fixed user (not a concurrent user).

User counts do not include anonymous users (see anonymous features) or multiple users logging in with the same login

Our product comes with a complete year of free upgrades and support. After the first year, you can still run your server using your existing version. However, you must renew our extended support agreement to continue to upgrade to the latest versions and continue to receive our outstanding support

If you wish, you may purchase a base system and then choose to upgrade your license at a later time. You will simply be charged the difference between the two packages. There are no extra charges and you have the same 30 day satisfaction guarantee on all your purchases.

Demo

The demo product is a fully functional application with the following 2 exceptions:

  • We have limited the demo product to a 25 item limit. This should allow users to properly evaluate and test the product. A time trial can also be arranged if you contact us.
  • There is normally an “archive” button on the “Bulk Update” page that moves an item to the archive state, when it is no longer needed. This has been removed, so that users cannot remove items to get past the first demo limit.
  • The demo product cannot be configured to display a company name or logo.

We have made the conversion process as painless as possible. If you choose to purchase Alcea, then you will be provided with a special key that will instantly override all of the demo limitations. Your existing items and information will be kept intact and no modifications are necessary.

After you have configured your trial to where you are happy with it, you may want to remove any the test data from your system. The Admin->Data Import menu has a “Delete all data” option for this purpose. This feature will delete all existing issues and respective attachments from your system so that you can start fresh. The ids are reset to start at 1 and no other configuration changes are lost. If you want to start over completely, your best bet is to simply re-install the product on the server where you will be using it.

Notifications


  • You will not receive any notification if you assign a item to yourself. Notification is only performed if the item is assigned to a different person. Make sure you understand how the email notification rules work.
  • Make sure that you have the correct smtp information configured. If it is not correct, you will see a connection exception in the Admin->ExceptionLog.
  • You should be using the same settings as you would be putting in your email client outgoing connection settings. (ie: can you connect using the client).
  • Make sure that there is no virus software interfering with the connection over port 25 (SMTP). Otherwise, you will have to have this restriction disabled, enabling Alcea to work on your server.

For instance, McAfee VirusScan Database 8.0i includes a subset of “desktop firewall” functionality, mainly to stop the proliferation of worms. One of the settings is described as “Prevent mass mailing worms from sending mail”, and is implemented as blocking port 25 for all processes except those listed as exceptions. Default exceptions include Outlook.exe, tomcat.exe, apache.exe, netscp.exe, etc. You would have to disable this, or add Fit.exe to the exception list

Some languages need to operate using a specified character set and will result in strange characters showing up in your email subjects (ie: “?”). In this case you must manually set the character set that Alcea is to use.

As an administrator, login, go to “Admin Menu”, “Server”, and you will see an “Override Charset” field where you can enter an explicit charset for messages sent by Alcea. It may simply be enough to add the example that is displayed.

Database


  • A general Alcea system uses an internal file-based system for storing items. The server has been custom built to cache the appropriate information within each issue. It is extremely efficient, handles concurrent users easily, and will scale to tens of thousands of issues. Our stress testing machine is an old P-100 with 64Megs of RAM running Linux. There is no performance degradation with over 30,000 items within the database. An export function is available to export the data within Alcea to a comma separated file, that can then be read into Excel or other tools.

    A Custom Database Module can be tailored to work with any JDBC database. This work involves customizations that are specific to customer needs.

The Database Module comes with a Database Admin menu that allows you to define a connection to any JDBC compliant database and store data in the database rather than the regular flat file system. This system is only available as an Unlimited license and is not available as a hosted system. The Database version also comes with a migration tool that allows you to migrate between the two types of systems. You can find complete documentation here

Database Modules require customized procedures to create a DB backup.

However, we provide an “Admin Menu->Backups” utility that will create a backup of your system. All system data is stored in a new backup directory. You may want to stor this on a second machine for safe keeping.

The backup utility allows an administrator to create a backup directory of their current system. This process should be done consistently in case any problems arise such as machine failure. The backup directory that is created should always be copied and stored on a separate machine.

Two types of backups can be created. A complete backup of all files on the system will copy all the executables and installation files. A system backup (excludes windows install files) of all data files is all that is needed because they can be copied over a fresh installation. This option is also very common for moving a system to a new machine.

The System file backup can be copied over a fresh system. To move your system to another machine (or bring it to a saved state), simply install a fresh system and then copy the system file backup over that fresh installation.

Database Module:
When you are storing your data in a database (using Database module), all of your data is stored in the database except the base server.cfg and any custom templates that you may have created for your tracks.
A move for a database system consists of installing a fresh copy of Alcea on the new server. Once this is done, you should copy the server.cfg and templates (if applicable) to the new server. Restarting the new setup with your old server.cfg (copy over new one), which should instruct Alcea to use the database for retrieving data.

Charts


Administrator users can do this by selecting Bulk Update from the Main Menu (in the Actions menu if using the Alcea dropdown menus), selecting the items to be deleted and clicking the Archive button at the bottom of the page. Archived items can be recovered using the Admin Menu->Advanced->Unarchive feature.

The default setting is to hide all closed items. You will notice a red link just under the logo image that states “Closed Hidden”. If you click on this link, the text will change to “Closed Displayed” and you will be able to see all the Closed items in the system.